Pistol Shrimp: Tiger

Alpheus bellulus

(18 Reviews)

Pistol Shrimp: Tiger

Pistol Shrimp: Tiger

Alpheus bellulus

(18 Reviews)

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Pistol Shrimp: Tiger Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Max Size: 2 inches
The Tiger Pistol Shrimp, Alpheus bellulus., also known as Snapping Shrimp, or Symbiosis Shrimp are marine invertebrates that have one extra large claw it uses to snap at prey to stun them. They are also known for forming symbiotic relationships with gobies - this can be an incredibly fun and rewarding relationship to watch in a home aquarium. The Gobies warn the Tiger Pistol Shrimp of predators and the Pistol Shrimp will share its food with the Gobies. It is reef safe and comes in many different colors and variations. It is best kept in tanks with ample amounts of rockwork, a sandy substrate, and and will scavenger for food as well as accept frozen aquarium foods. 

Exploring the Fascinating Tiger Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) in Saltwater Aquariums

The Tiger Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) is a captivating and intriguing creature that can add visual interest and practical benefits to saltwater aquariums. This species has garnered attention among marine enthusiasts with its unique appearance and remarkable behaviors. In this article, we will delve into various aspects of the Tiger Pistol Shrimp, including its habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture potential, molting process, symbiotic relationships, water requirements, other common names, compatible tank mates, and the advantages of sourcing the Tiger Pistol Shrimp from Saltwaterfish.com.

Habitat and Distribution:

The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is commonly found in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the western Pacific Ocean.

Reef Compatibility:

The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is considered reef safe, as it does not harm corals or other invertebrates. However, its digging behavior can rearrange substrate and potentially disturb delicate corals.

Size and Lifespan:

This shrimp species typically reaches a length of about 2 inches (5 cm). They can have a lifespan of several years with proper care in a well-maintained aquarium.


Tiger Pistol Shrimp are omnivores, feeding on a varied diet of detritus, algae, and small food particles. They also actively hunt for small invertebrates and even small fish.

Aquaculture Potential:

The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is available in the aquarium trade, and some specimens are captive-bred. While not currently available in the trade to hobbyists, as a rule, acquiring captive-bred individuals supports sustainable practices and reduces the impact on wild populations.

Molting Process:

Tiger Pistol Shrimp undergo molting to grow like other crustaceans. They shed their exoskeleton during molting, revealing a new and larger shell.

Symbiotic Relationships:

Tiger Pistol Shrimp are renowned for their unique partnership with certain gobies, often called "Watchman Gobies." The shrimp digs and maintains burrows while the goby looks for potential predators. This mutualistic cooperation showcases the ingenuity of marine life.

Water Requirements:

Tiger Pistol Shrimp thrive in well-maintained aquariums with stable water parameters. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and maintenance are essential for their well-being.

Other Common Names:

In addition to the name "Tiger Pistol Shrimp" or "Alpheus bellulus," this species is also known as the "Tiger Snapping Shrimp."

Compatible Tank Mates:

  • Watchman Gobies (e.g., Yellow Watchman Goby): These gobies form a beneficial and fascinating partnership with Tiger Pistol Shrimp.
  • Dottybacks (e.g., Orchid Dottyback): Some dottyback species can coexist with Tiger Pistol Shrimp, adding color and diversity to the tank.
  • Blennies (e.g., Lawnmower Blenny): Peaceful blennies can share the tank with Tiger Pistol Shrimp, contributing to a dynamic ecosystem.
  • Clownfish (Amphiprion spp.): Clownfish are peaceful and can coexist harmoniously with Tiger Pistol Shrimp in a reef environment.

Why Choose Saltwaterfish.com:

Sourcing the Tiger Pistol Shrimp from Saltwaterfish.com offers several advantages. Their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices ensures you receive healthy and responsibly sourced specimens. Saltwaterfish.com provides comprehensive information about each species, aiding in informed decision-making. With a range of options, excellent customer support, and a seamless purchasing process, Saltwaterfish.com guarantees a smooth and enjoyable experience for marine enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the Tiger Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) is a captivating and functional addition to saltwater aquariums. Its unique behaviors and beneficial partnerships make it an exciting member of marine ecosystems. By creating a suitable environment and selecting compatible tank mates, aquarists can enjoy the allure and advantages of these captivating shrimp in their underwater havens. When considering the acquisition of this remarkable species, choosing Saltwaterfish.com ensures a reliable and ethical source that prioritizes the health and well-being of marine life. The Tiger Pistol Shrimp can become a captivating and engaging centerpiece in any saltwater aquarium with proper care and attention.

Reviewed by: Jay Norgaard on May 16, 2024

Reviewed by: Billy Springer on May 13, 2024

Reviewed by: David Grass on March 26, 2024

Cute little guy, can hear it at times.

Reviewed by: Kenneth Goldsmith on Feb. 12, 2024

Beautiful and healthy

Reviewed by: Joshua Aust on Feb. 8, 2024

Reviewed by: Alexander Myers on Jan. 31, 2024

Reviewed by: Louis Cannon Jr. on Dec. 25, 2023

Reviewed by: Timothy Wilkinson on Dec. 6, 2023

Reviewed by: Devlin Duvenhage on Nov. 19, 2023

Reviewed by: Andrew Kersting on Oct. 3, 2023

Reviewed by: William Shelton on Aug. 2, 2023

Reviewed by: William Shelton on July 28, 2023

Reviewed by: Brady Caspari on July 26, 2023

Reviewed by: Demetrius Anderson on July 19, 2023

I was dead on arrival, but I had one before and they a cool with pistol shrimps

Reviewed by: Lamont Shuman on July 14, 2023

Arrived active as ever and almost immediately paired with my yellow watchman, now they share a large burrow against the glass at the front, which is amazing because I can see all that goes on in the burrow, Great invert, fantastic quality!

Reviewed by: Zach on April 26, 2018

Arrived alive and well swimming back and forth in the bag. As soon as I added it, it found my yellow watchman goby and dug a burrow. Amazing to watch!

Reviewed by: Zach on April 11, 2018

The pistol shrimp is really neat, and they grow fast! We have a diamond "watchman" goby we are excited for the pistol shrimp to meet. However, we order a juvenile, about the size of my finger nail. In the last two weeks since it has arrived, it's about a third the size of my whole finger. The pistol shrimp love brine shrimp, and we are keeping it in a float-able breeding container, feed it every other day.

Reviewed by: Forrest Nelson on Oct. 4, 2017

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